India-Tajikistan relations: From civilizational friends to strategic partners
Tajikistan and India relations are shaped by shared history, culture and civilizational links, and in modern times, these ties are driven by convergence of geo-political concerns and interests. Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in late 1990s changed the threat perceptions and frequent diplomatic visits between the two countries resulted in closer defence cooperation. But the lack of direct overland connectivity has proved a major hindrance, especially in economic and trade relations. Both sides are committed to exploring alternative transport routes to increase economic activities. Indian entry to Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and challenges like rising religious fundamentalism and state-sponsored terrorism have given fresh impetus to cooperation in the realms of security, defence, and diplomacy. Foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent return of Taliban has serious security implications for both India and Tajikistan which necessitates closer cooperation particularly in the arena of defense and security.